As the new school year commences, Cogebanque has urged parents, guardians, and students to consider ‘SchoolGEAR’, a user-friendly platform that eases the payment of school fees. Tony Rwema Gakwerere, in charge of the product at Cogebanque, said the platform that seeks to address the payment of school fees is part of the bank’s digital banking products. “The reason why Cogebanque has started this platform is to address issues like long queues at our branches, especially at the beginning of the school term. It improves the quality of services we provide to our customers,” he said. The long queues, he said, would also inconvenience other people there for various banking services, adding that the technology-based platform is in place to ease different burdens. “The ‘SchoolGEAR’ is the best way to make school fee payments. Previously, one would go to the bank, pay the fees, get a payment receipt, and later go to school to find another long queue. This came with a number of risks, including losing these payment receipts. “When you lose your payment receipts, you need to request a new one, and there is always a charge. The platform was created as a solution,” he said. He said the platform was created to improve and simplify the schools’ work as well as that of parents. “The ‘SchoolGEAR’ helps schools in the reporting process,” Gakwerere explained. Users can access the platform through Cogebanque’s tellers at its branches, Cogebanque agents, and mobile money by dialling *700# or Cogebanque’s website by clicking on ‘SchoolGEAR’. “You can pay school fees via the above channels and follow all instructions. After you have paid, the school immediately receives the payment receipt, indicating that the student has paid their school fees,” he explained. Accessing the ‘SchoolGEAR’ platform is free of charge as it offers to help schools improve the quality of their work as the bank’s beneficiaries. “Parents are charged Rwf 600 once a term, regardless of the number of transactions they make throughout the whole term,” he explained. Schools interested in the payment method can visit the nearest Cogebanque branch or call 5050 to learn more about the service. “We are ready and happy to help and guide them with the best and highest quality services. My message to schools is that the bank has implemented this system to assist them, as the schools require a variety of services. These services include school management, which is one of the system's features, as well as disciplinary and timetable management, among many other features that they may require,” he said. Gakwerere added that ‘SchoolGEAR’ is linked to the accounting system that the schools use. “With all these, we encourage schools to choose Cogebanque as we have their solutions,” he noted. Cogebanque (Compagnie Générale de Banque Plc) is a Rwanda-based commercial bank licenced by the National Bank of Rwanda. It started operations in 1999. It is one of the fastest-growing banks in Rwanda and today has 28 branches, over 600 agents, and 36 ATMs across the country. These are supported by mobile banking (USSD on *505# and mobile app Coge mBank), cards (Mastercard, Smart Cash, and SafariBus), SchoolGEAR, and internet banking delivery channels accessible through different media. Cogebanque has been serving Rwandan industries for over 24 years with innovative services to its customers and has positively affected the Rwandan economy. Cogebanque provides a comprehensive range of products and services targeted at corporate, SMEs, and retail customers.